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TECH: Camaro Clip in your 58 chevy-in one day!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LUX BLUE, Dec 15, 2006.

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  1. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    before...
    [​IMG]


    after.
    [​IMG]

    pretty darn dramatic.
    funny thing is...it's still on the lift!

    wrong photo- at this point, the rear end was sitting on the frame.
     
  2. wethebmx
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 244

    wethebmx
    Member
    from walnut, ca

    this is a great post. i have been thinking about doing this to my 59 gmc for years. I have a 78 z28 with the engine and trans and everything in my back yard ready to be cut up. I have read a few articles on how to do this, but never pictures and it always sounded tough. This assures me that it can be done, and by the looks of things. very simple.
    i was battling whether or not i should leave it more stock or slam it. i have an entire airbag system with the triangulated 4 link and all. I think im just going to slam it. id have a better driving and more enjoyable truck that way, one I will be able to take on long distant trips and not have to do 60. maybe even be able to tow a trailer. thanks man, keep posting cool stuff like this, and definately how to put the sheet metal back on and how you did the engine install.
    thanks,
    David
     
  3. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,274

    metalman
    Member

    Guess you didn't get my drift. The clips are still around but not in abundance like they once were. Gezz, we use to buy whole Camaros for $200, use the clip, rearend, maybe even a motor and tranny. What I'm saying if your'e hiring a pro to do it, clips arn't cost effective anymore. $1500 for a all new hub to hub Must II kit with big brakes, 1 day install, out the door for around 2gs. Buy a clip for $200, spend another $400 to 600 for new ball joints, bushings, brake parts , ect. Add a couple ugly days labor degreasing and rebuilding the clip and another day install, it's a wash. The clips drive and handle better but the Must II looks much, much cleaner, my customers would rather have looks the handling. Just an oberservation on why we don't hear much on clips anymore.
    Side note: I perfer the Volare clip in late 50's trucks myself unless air bags are planned, I'm running one in my 57 F100, back off the torsion bars to slam it, crank they up for care free road trips.
    Side note II: Last week our local pull-a-part had not one but two complete Mustang IIs. Was sure every last one of those pitiful things were crushed years ago.
     
  4. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    Dave, you're exactly the type of fella I was trying to reach with this post.
    We have big plans for this truck. Cliff (firedome) Has been a friend "of long resolve" and has probably the most "complete" collections of classic European Bikes I have ever personally seen. his plan (now OUR plan) is to have a truck that he can load a couple of bikes into and drive where ever he wants to, get there, unload the bikes, throw an air matress down and weekend in it. What this means is...it has to be "realistic" out south-the bed still has to be a bed when it's all done. so, once we pass the "basic" stages, we are gonna add overload springs, timbren load levelers (to help stabilize things) and a panhard bar-on a leaf spring truck! (a supposed no-no) the front will have a couple of cool tricks too.
    Stick around. The sheet metal goes on next (it's reeeally easy) then we are gonna move on to brakes, motor,exhaust,interior,electrical,and body.
    I'm gonna build the whole thing and document it here. (and probably expose some secrets of mine along the way:D ) but yeah..it's gonna be fun.
     
  5. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    Oh no, I feel ya. I never liked the mustang 2's handling charecteristics (haha...guess who grew up around a bunch of g.m. gearheads) I really didn't like the F-body that much until I realized what wonderful parts cars they are.:D I prefer g.m. A body for that-less likely to "switch ends" than either of the others when copious amounts of power is added to the mix. and alot less wheel hop. but I digress.

    My point (besides the one under my hat) is how easy this is in this particular truck. I don't agree with a couple of your costs (suspension and brake rebuilds-to date,including price of clip is less than 500.00- I like my numbers better) but this is a different part of the country. I recently heard that you can't buy g-bodies anywhere near speedway because Bill Smith has bought 'em all up. you can't throw a rock around here without hitting one. I blame the commies.

    The Volare clip is a nice unit too (albeit a bit "clunky" in looks)- the next front end swap is actually a volare into a 64 ford pickup. (there is one on my crappy website http://www.crushproofprotouring.com
    and I agree-ground pounding, oil pan skooshing,driveway scraping LOW. with good manners on the highway and street.

    but yeah. Bang for the buck, I will take the pepsi challenge of mustang II versus Camaro in a mid fifties Chevy any day. (or early Ford pickup) it's just too easy. and the Camaro can be made to look nice.
    gimmie a minnit on that one. suffice to say the weather is not being cooperative with our paint processes this week.:D
     
  6. bigdreamsnobux
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 222

    bigdreamsnobux
    Member

    This post is very much appreciated for those of us in the same boat ('56 Chev short box and was still wavering on MII vs. Camaro after 2 years, but I am going Camaro now!!). Another nice part about the Camaro clip is that for those without welders and experience welding, you can prep the entire set up yourself with a measureing tape and sawsall BEFORE your buddy or mobile welder shop shows up to weld it in. Also, I looked into the cost of rebuilding too when comparing, and if you go to your local parts supplier shop instead of Napa, etc. all of the bushings, etc. are about 25-30% cheaper (at least where I live), keeping the rebuild do it yourself cost to about $175.

    For others new or thinking about this, I have read there is at least one video out there that goes over this, I think it is from one of the well known chassis makers, but can't remember who/where I saw it. This thread is good enough for me though.

    One quick question though, any restrictions for headers as a result of using these clips? Wondering if there is still enough clearance for both long and short tube headers with the Camaro rails and a small block.

    Can't wait for the rest of the pics and thanks very much for covering this in as much detail as possible. Much appreciated!!!!
     
  7. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,120

    Roothawg
    Member

    Lux, the reason I am asking is that I have a 58 Chevy I need to do for my parents. It has some bad manners and drives like crap basically. They never drive the truck because it is squirelly.
     
  8. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    so long as you don't use Hooker super comp headers for big block, you oughtta be alright. I prefer the Sanderson "mid length shorties"
    that exit towards the rear simply because you can tuck the exhaust up nice and high-like really high- and have no issues.
     
  9. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,187

    farna
    Member

    For those who don't want quite the drop of a Camaro clip (can't imiagine that on THIs board!), the Chryco Aspen/Volare/Diplomat/New Yorker torsion bar suspension is a nice fit. Drops it a little, but not as much. More for a cool looking, better handling/riding work truck than a slammed rod truck.
     
  10. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX


    Hawg...I feel ya.

    I recently (last year or so) rebuilt the entire front end of a stock type 57 truck with a v8. I also managed to track down a pretty rare power steering box for one. figured it would be a pretty basic swap, right?

    I could not have been more wrong. the frames were different.
    power steering boxes (which requires an entirely different column,also) SUCKED in 1958. and as far as road manners are concerned...well, it drove like a 1958 school bus. and took longer.
    and required a bunch of sillyness. such as moving the motor mounts from the front of the motor to the sides, had to lose the kick ass ram's horns...it just sucked.

    the Camaro clip is the way to go,man. You can do it!
     
  11. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    and...done.:D
    [​IMG]

    okay. here's how we got here.
    the mounts for the core support end up inside of the frame rails on the Camaro. so, we started by cleaning the paint (by the way, I re-built the front end with p.s.t. stuff and painted it all black "since the last episode") off at the inner points at the front of the rails.
    [​IMG]
    after that, we re-assembled the front clip. our sheet metal was wasted, and Cliff came up with this killer example of what happens to poorly painted trucks.
    [​IMG]
    so I took the radiator core support, the splash apron and inner fenderwells from the original steel, and bolted it to the groovy new old fenders. once I was there, we dropped the front clip onto the chassis. The leading edge of the inner fenderwells needs to be trimmed back so it will sit on the frame properly.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    it's pretty easy...you just lop it off so the core support is hanging out all by itself. take your time and do a little at a time- this thing sits down right on the filler between the grille and the bumper.
    [​IMG]

    now for the fun. remember these guys?
    [​IMG]
    they will be modified to hold the front sheet metal. notice there are two holes. we are using the LITTLE one. I happen to have a box of leftover Poly bushings from previous projects (just because they don't have a kit, doesn't mean they don't have the right bushings to rebuild stuff.) but any good bushing will do. the only thing is, they need to have about a half inch hole in them. I found some Nova front leaf spring bushings and cut the tops off of them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    don't throw away the bottoms...you use them too.
    I then (with the clip sitting down on the frame) trimmed the body mounts to fit the insides of the frame. I lined the hole in the bottom of the radiator core support up with the LITTLE hole in the bracket by eyeballing it,rough tracing with a sharpie, and grinding to fit.
    [​IMG]

    once there, I bolted it together with the bushing in between, and the bottom of the bushing under why the extra chunk of bushing under it? dunno. it's how the General always did it, so I follow suit. I should probably mention my sinister method of doing this to avoid rattles. the fenders line up a touch low at this point...
    [​IMG]
    so I weld the mounts on with it low. on purpose. I then shim the bottoms of the poly bushings with washers till it fit's right. harder with rubber, but still do-able. at any rate, bolted them together and re-checked the alignment. found out that the gearbox was just barely in the way, so I trimmed the core support once more-just took off a bit of the corner on the upright.
    [​IMG]
    threw it all together and welded it up!
    [​IMG]

    and there it is. I need to pull the sheet metal off to smooth the firewall and a bunch of stuff, but for all intensive purposes, it's re-assembly and finished.this one is getting a couple of things different-aluminum radiator, headers, a/c (eventually) and the like. but the bulk of it is personal preference. the last one I did received the original radiator with no issues..and for the most part, the original bumper (I welded a couple of peices of box tubing to the bottom of the frame and re-created the bumper bolt holes. we are using a g,m,c, bumper from a 55, so it's a horse of a different color.

    but yeah...it really is that easy!

    total hours into it-start to finish, to date are about 17-but that includes the the chassis work out back. brakes remain to be done, but again, we have 4 wheel disc, so from here, I kinda end up veering away from the basics. The Basic speedway underfloor speedway pedal assembley is all you need. (and you can use the vast majority of the camaro brake lines too.)
    go to it,fellas! (and ladies!)
     
  12. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    oh yeah-Dan (Don?) whoever e-mailed me, we will be here saturday, so you can stop by to take a look.

    Lux
     
  13. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,274

    metalman
    Member

    OK, OK. All I'm saying is I don't get to do as many Camaro clips as I use to. The prices I was using in a comparason to a Must II was the cost to my customers, not what I buy for but the markup price. You guys doing it yourself is a whole nother ballgame, cash outlay will be a lot less on a Camaro clip + rebuild parts then a $1500 Mustange II kit. It will take a lot longer to install. The price of labor and the markup on parts makes them about equal to my customers and for the same price they always op for the Mustang.

    I'll argue on the ride hight of a Camaro vs Volare clip someone posted, They way I do them they are about the same at ride hight + with the Volare you can back the bars off for a dramatic entrance to the cruz., raise it back for daily driving.

    The info on modifing the horns for radiator/ bumper reminded me of something for those considering Novas. A little narrower track it has, makes fitting wheels easier on earier trucks and cars. The front horns are huge and major ugly. Still doable but plan on more work to make them fit and look like anything, Camaro much easier.
     
  14. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    I agree with the ride height of the volare...the beauty of those is the "pancake"design of the whole thing...you can pretty much put them where you want them...so long as you have an oil pan that will cooperate. the torsion bar front end makes for realy easy ride height adjustment,too. no coil overs to argue with and there is no such thing as cutting off too much spring.
    the major advantage I see of Camaro and Mustang over Volare is upgrading later. installing Air Bags in MII or Camaro is dead easy. I don't even know if you can bag a volare. (but I have heard of a fellow that used electric screw jacks on the torsion bars- never saw it in person, but it sounds cool.) and there are just too many options for Camaro and MII- big brakes,Big Sway bars, lots of room to work around, tons of header options,better boxes and racks, tubular control arms, about 30 places to put motor mounts (a P.I.TA. with Volare) better shocks, and all around better steering geometry. ..

    I am not hating on Mustang II-don't get me wrong- I have installed a bunch of those,too. but for this style truck, Make mine Camaro!:D
     
  15. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,120

    Roothawg
    Member

    The disadvantage to the Volare is the fact that you can't get new torsion bars when the old ones lose their tension.
     
  16. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX


    I thought it was that they say "Dodge" on them...:D
     
  17. Here's a picture of my old truck with the camaro swap and rear flip

    [​IMG]
     
  18. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    Hey!

    what size tires are those? That's what we are shooting for!
     
  19. the volare' front ends have issues with the idler arm mounting area. they are weak and can tear plus those huge ps. boxes are right in the way.for motor mounts you have to build a bridge over them. when i get the r&p from a 90' dodge daytona mounted i will post it. with all the later truck parts available swapping a 67-'72 frame is easier. the one on my 58' that p.o. did looks like easy swap to me compared to subframe. s-10 and mid 80's gm cars work grat and are laying all over the place for next to nothing.
     
  20. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX


    The 67-72 work great...but don't go as low without a bunch of headache. spindles, springs, and you still have to mount the box
    to the existing frame-which tends to tear in that location.
    done a bunch of those.
    s 10 is good, g bodies,too...but don't go in as easy as the camaro. plus you don't get as much meat to weld to. I also questoin an s-io under the weight we throw in these...Big blocks are a really common install around here.

    My point is that, the camaro is the most functional swap. not the prettiest, but for bang for your buck, it's the best in this truck.
     
  21. draggin ass
    Joined: Jun 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,920

    draggin ass
    BANNED
    from hell

    im sure thatll add to its handling and stopping power....*sarcasm*
     
  22. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX


    nope...still stops and handles like a straight axle with anemic drum brakes...*sarcasm*
     
  23. draggin ass
    Joined: Jun 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,920

    draggin ass
    BANNED
    from hell

    im sure it drives like a camaro...:rolleyes:
     
  24. The new owner put those on so I'm not sure.
     
  25. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,274

    metalman
    Member

    I agree, don't think you could bag a Volare, I heard of the screw jack thing also but never seen it. Volares got to be the rage around here a while back( I did the one in my truck 10 years ago), we did so many my helper and I would have one in about 3 hours then spend the rest of the day hooking up steering and building motor mounts. Yeah, the steering box is a p.i.t.a. location but we had patterns for all common motors so after a while it's no big deal. In by 9, out by 5, a real money maker.
     
  26. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    Hey,knucklehead...did I piss on your boots or something?


    Track me down at the round up-we'll go for a ride and you can tell me if it's worth a damn or not. in the mean time, shut yer piehole.
     
  27. Faded Love Garage
    Joined: Mar 30, 2003
    Posts: 958

    Faded Love Garage
    Member

    What's your point?
     
  28. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    I guess that's supposed to be a jab... I'd say it was from someone that has never really driven a well set up and healthy Camaro. :D They sure as hell drive better than any Mustang II. :eek:

    I think you'd be surprised... We can talk about Jags next and how they drive next. :rolleyes:
     
  29. draggin ass
    Joined: Jun 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,920

    draggin ass
    BANNED
    from hell

    i just think its a bit rediculas to update shit like that on old cars.... you want to drive an old car/truck or dont you?
     
  30. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX


    wow...you didn't read any of the first post at all, did you?

    this set up- on this truck in particular- is how we are going about making a hauler- which has to be dependable- out of a truck with HORRIBLE chassis work done to it.
    as far as the how and why is concerned- are you still running unsplit wishbones and mechanical brakes? still got the original four banger?
    friction shocks?

    the "ridiculous" part about this crap for me is...Hot Rodding is all about "upgrades". and this swap- it's been pretty commonplace on these trucks for around 30 years. so you don't like it. peachy.

    do your homework, skippy.
     
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